I have a huge bruise on my right knee. I don’t know how I got this huge bruise on my right knee. This huge bruise on my right knee is really painful, for a knee bruise.
When I was in college, I used to wake up on Sunday mornings with bruises all over my body. My friends did, too, and that was a good time because then we’d laze around our apartment for hours trying to figure out how we got them and where.
“Look at this yellow shiner on my bicep,” one of them would say. “Was I in a catfight again?”
“No,” we’d shake our heads. “That’s from when you jumped off the ledge at the Sig Ep house and crashed into the keg. Everyone was totally mad at you for like, five minutes, because they thought you broke it and then we’d have to drink tap water and use our personalities.”
“Oh,” the friend would groan as she sunk back into her pillows, “Well, I guess that also explains why the word ASSWIPE is written on my neck in Sharpie.”
One year I went to a fraternity’s barn dance and woke up the next day with my entire body bruised. This was due to: 1) Grain alcohol in a jug and 2) Live bull chasing. One would think that those two things should never mix, but guess what? They are a splendid combination if you’re a 21-year-old college guy who has horrible judgment and connections in the Oregon ranching world. All I remember about that event is that I was standing in the middle of the barn when they released the bulls, and then I waved a red bandana and screamed, “COME AND GIT ME, FERDINAND” and boom—next thing I know, I’m in a field picking magic mushrooms with the hippie bus driver. Wait. Maybe the hippie bus driver’s name was Ferdinand? I don’t know, it was a long time ago and the mushrooms were delicious.
The worst bruise I’ve ever had was delivered to me via a 200-lb. Norwegian farm woman. Cam was her name and she looked just like Dolph Lundgren if Dolph Lundgren wore Black Hills Gold jewelry and smock tops. I was 14-years-old and playing in the Summer Woman’s Softball League in North Dakota. My friends and I made up the youngest team in the league, but we still had to play against a pack of 30-year-old bruisers who spent their days driving tractors and punching boulders. It was near the end of the game and I was on third base, stepping off of the bag to get a lead, when the burly third basewoman said, “Girl!”
“Yes, sir?” I trembled, staring at the blonde hair on her chin that glistened in the sunlight like the 20 acres of wheat she’d harvested with her bare hands earlier that day.
“Get back on the base or Cam will pick you off!” she commanded. “Like a gopher! Hahaha!”
I started to run back to the bag, but then I changed course and went a few steps the other way and then suddenly, I felt a THWACK on my right thigh. I don’t know what a gunshot feels like, because I live in the suburbs, but I imagine it’s slightly less painful than Cam’s fastball nailing you at 78 mph on your upper thigh meat. I remember grimacing a little, but I didn’t make a single sound or even a whimper because when I’m in unbearable pain, I remain completely silent like a Scientologist giving birth. Or Donald Trump’s wife during sex. I don’t know why this is, it just is.
But despite my (majorly impressive) stoicism, the bruise I got from that ball that day was f-ing painful. And approximately the size of a pond turtle. I think you could even see the lump through my pants, so it was like a topographic map of Canada for a few weeks. On the plus side, it turned a different color every day and therefore was the Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat of bruises. Too bad the internet wasn’t around way back then or I could have had an entire Twitter feed for it. “@WendisBruise Today I enter my Blue Period. #picasso #ouchie #nohaters #camsucks #YOLO”
Which brings me back to the huge bruise on my right knee. I don’t know how I got this huge bruise on my right knee. This huge bruise on my right knee is really painful, for a knee bruise.
However, unlike my past bruises, I do know that this one isn’t from doing anything fun. Or wild. Or life affirming. In fact, when I showed it to my husband, his first thought wasn’t to ask, “Wow! Did you get that when you led that rock climbing expedition for disadvantaged children?” Or, “Well, babe, that what happen when you lose a dance fight wit yo crew at da club. Bitch.”
No, his first thought was to ask, “Did you crash into something? Like the washing machine or the dishwasher? Maybe you fell off the couch after eating all of that cheese? We all know that it definitely wasn’t from activity!”
In response, I remained completely silent because sometimes, bruises can happen on the inside, too.
At least that’s what Ferdinand told me in the mushroom field.